North Texas Daily

Porn is an industry with no winners

Porn is an industry with no winners

Porn is an industry with no winners
July 08
14:00 2021

In an ever-evolving internet, porn stands out as one of the longest-running trends. Since the inception of digital pornography, it has remained one of the internet’s most prominent search topics. Now, with a vast and constantly growing database at users’ disposal, anyone can search for and access explicit images and videos at a moment’s notice. 

Accessing porn has never been easier and users aren’t hesitating to take advantage of the convenience. Shockingly, one in every five internet searches is pornography-related, according to a study by Covenant Eyes. Sixty-eight million search queries related to porn are made per day or roughly 25 percent of total internet searches, according to a separate study by Webroot.

In addition to the frequent searches for porn, internet users are also downloading porn at an incredibly high rate. As of this writing, over a third of all internet downloads are pornography-related.

The demand for pornography is abundant. As people search for ways to become more educated about sex, fill romantic voids and/or relieve stress, porn has become a popular alternative. Unfortunately for the user, it doesn’t resolve any of the aforementioned issues. 

In regards to informing users about the nuances of sex, porn misses the mark by a wide margin. Instead of reflecting an intimate moment between lovers, porn depicts an artificial, exaggerated version of sex. This can cause users to have a false expectation of what sex should be like. Also, comparing body types and images to that of porn stars can lead to insecurity and body image concerns within the user

Despite the common misconception that body dysmorphia is only experienced by women, men also struggle with their body image, especially those who watch porn regularly. In a strange twist, 40 percent of men with average-sized penises go to the urologists’ office seeking penis enlargement surgeries thinking they are too small. Many cite this belief stems from watching porn and feeling like they don’t measure up. 

On top of not educating users on sex, porn also does not adequately fill romantic voids felt by users. In fact, porn has been shown to cause discord between couples. 

Nearly 70 percent of divorce cases involve one partner meeting a new paramour over the internet according to a study by Webroot.  56 percent involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in pornographic websites, according to the same study. Furthermore, pornography use increases the marital infidelity rate by more than 300 percent.

Despite data highlighting its harmful impact on society, porn is still consistently produced and demand has never been higher.

Roughly 28,258 internet users are watching porn at any given second and over $3,000 are spent on pornographic material per second. This isn’t all that surprising given how normalized porn has become in our society.

Ninety percent of teens and 96 percent of young adults are either encouraging, accepting or neutral when they talk about porn with their friends, according to a Covenant Eyes report. 

I’m not necessarily saying that I disagree with this stance, either. I understand the porn industry does provide some level of stress relief for users and even offers an opportunity to make a living for sex workers. 

For those who are comfortable selling or advertising their bodies for profit, the porn industry is a major cash cow. With the introduction of sites like OnlyFans, sex workers have more freedom than ever to choose how they broadcast themselves to the world and for how much. 

Still, even with the slight advancements and additional liberations for sex workers, the porn industry is largely predicated on abuse. Eighty-eight percent of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression, and 49 percent of scenes contain verbal aggression, according to the aforementioned Covenant Eyes report. Former porn models have attested to this abuse, citing that the more violent the scene, the higher the pay grade.

Simply put, the porn industry is nowhere near as kind or advantageous to its workers as people romanticize it to be. It is not an industry that workers can last long in without undergoing severe mental, emotional and physical trauma.

On the other side of the screen, those watching are victimized by pornography almost equally as much. Searching for porn to get quick relief, these users are gradually killing their confidence and self-esteem, becoming more detached from reality.

It is a vicious cycle and one that is bound to remain on a loop should users continue to mindlessly consume porn without weighing the effects. The dopamine rush attached to watching porn may be exhilarating at the time, but the long-term, behind-the-scenes effects paint a much bleaker reality, one that should make people wary of getting involved.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Jalyn Smoot

Jalyn Smoot

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